Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Manuka Honey Component an Effective Antimicrobial Agent Against MSRA

Methylglyoxal: (Active Agent of Manuka Honey) in vitro Activity Against Bacterial BiofilmsInternational Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, Article first published online: 25 MAY 2011


Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and Staphylococcus aureus (SA) biofilms are associated with poor chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) disease control following surgery. Manuka honey (MH) has been shown to be both an effective in vitro treatment agent for SA and PA biofilms and nontoxic to sinonasal respiratory mucosa. Methylglyoxal (MGO) has been reported to be the major antibacterial agent in MH. The effect of this agent against SA and PA biofilms has yet to be reported. Our objective was to determine the in vitro effect of MGO against biofilms of SA and PA, via in vitro testing of MGO against bacterial biofilms.


An established biofilm model was used to determine the effective concentration (EC) of MGO against 10 isolates of methicillin-resistant SA (MRSA) and PA. The EC of MGO was also determined against planktonic (free-swimming) MRSA and PA.


For MRSA, the EC against planktonic organisms was a concentration of 0.08 mg/mL to 0.3 mg/mL whereas against the biofilm MRSA isolates, the EC ranged from 0.5 mg/mL to 3.6 mg/mL. For PA, the EC against planktonic organisms was a concentration of 0.15 mg/mL to 1.2 mg/mL for planktonic organisms whereas against the biofilm PA isolates, the EC ranged from 1.8 mg/mL to 7.3 mg/mL.


MGO, a component of MH, is an effective antimicrobial agent against both planktonic and biofilm MRSA and PA organisms in vitro.

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Ghana University Center to Develop Stingless Bee Medicinal Hive Products

UCC Establishes International Stingless Bee Centre for Research and Training

Abrafo (C/R), May 25, GNA - The Department of Entomology and Wildlife of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), School of Biological Sciences, has established an International Stingless Bee Centre at Abrafo for Universities across the world to undertake research and training into the activities of stingless bees and conservation.

The Centre, the first of its kind in the West African Sub-Region, is expected to serve as an environmental education centre. The Centre currently has employed about 20 people in the Abrafo community, its catchment area, near the Kakum National Park.

At a brief ceremony on Tuesday, for its official opening, the Director of the Centre, Dr Peter Kwapong, said it would soon be developed into an industry to produce different medicinal hive products such as honey, propolis and pollen as well as artifacts, crafts and jewellery…

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oil Extract of Propolis as Effective at Inhibiting Tumor Growth as Alcohol Extract

In vivo Antitumoural Activity and Composition of an Oil Extract of Brazilian Propolis
Food Chemistry, Volume 126, Issue 3, 1 June 2011, Pages 1239-1245

The present study aimed to evaluate in vivo and in vitro the antitumoural activity of a propolis extract obtained with edible vegetable oil and its fractions and also to investigate its chemical composition by LC–MS and LC–MS/MS.

To evaluate the toxicological aspects related to the propolis extract treatment, hematological, biochemical, histopathological and morphological analyses of treated animals were performed. All propolis extracts showed an in vivo antitumour activity in the experimental model with a moderate toxicity effect at experimental exposure levels.

The oil extract was as effective as the ethanolic extract at inhibiting tumour growth. In vitro assays showed that the whole oil extract produced better inhibition of tumour cells than its fractions. LC–MS and LC–MS/MS identified four phenolic acids and three flavonoids.

The anticancer potential of the oil extract of propolis has been demonstrated and the edible vegetable oil was shown as an attractive alternative solvent to extract bioactive natural propolis components.

Research highlights

• Ethanolic and oil propolis extracts were evaluated in vivo in the Sarcoma 180 model.
• Toxicological aspects related to propolis extracts treatment were performed.
• The oil extract was as effective as the ethanolic extract at inhibiting tumour growth.
• Propolis reduced tumour growth with the same ratio as 5-FU but with less side effects.
• LC–MS/MS identified phenolic acids and flavonoids in oil propolis extract fractions.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Propolis May Help Treat Allergic Airway Disease

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Suppresses Eotaxin Secretion and Nuclear p-STAT6 in Human Lung Fibroblast Cells
J Microbiol Immunol Infect, 2011 May 19


Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component of propolis, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties. We have investigated the activity of CAPE in regulating cytokine-induced eotaxin production and its related signal protein, signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6), in human lung fibroblast.


The CCD-11Lu human lung fibroblast cell line was used as an in vitro model. Cells were pretreated with CAPE followed by stimulation with interleukin-4 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. The levels of eotaxin in cultured supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The amounts of STAT6 and phosphorylated STAT6 in cellular nuclear protein extracts were determined by Western blot analysis. STAT6 DNA binding activities were detected by electrophoretic mobility shift assay.


Pretreated CCD-11Lu cells with noncytotoxic doses (0.1-10μM) of CAPE inhibited the production of eotaxin under stimulation of interleukin-4 (10ng/mL) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (10ng/mL). CAPE pretreatment also decreased the amount of phosphorylated STAT6 and the STAT6 DNA binding complexes in nuclear extracts.


CAPE inhibited the production of eotaxin protein in stimulated human lung fibroblast cells in a dose-dependent manner. This activity is, at least, through STAT6 inhibition. We suggest that CAPE is a promising agent in controlling eotaxin secretion and subsequent eosinophils influx and may therefore have a potential role to play in treating allergic airway disease.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Argentinian Andean Propolis Shows Antifungal Activity

Argentinean Andean Propolis Associated with the Medicinal Plant Larrea nitida Cav. (Zygophyllaceae). HPLC-MS and GC-MS Characterization and Antifungal Activity
Food Chem Toxicol, 2011 May 12

The chemical profile and botanical origin of Andean Argentinian propolis were studied by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS and GC-MS techniques as well as the antifungal activity according to CLSI protocols.

Dermatophytes and yeasts tested were strongly inhibited by propolis extracts (MICs between 31.25 and 125μg/mL). The main antifungal compounds were: 3'methyl-nordihydroguaiaretic acid (MNDGA) 1, nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) 2 and a NDGA derivative 3, showing strong activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. rubrum and Microsporum gypseum (MICs between 15.6 and 31.25μg/mL). The lignans 1 and 2 showed activities against clinical isolates of Candidas spp., Cryptococcus spp., T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes (MICs and MFCs between 31.25 and 62.5μg/mL). The lignan and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) profiles from propolis matched with those of exudates of Larrea nitida providing strong evidences on its botanical origin.

These results support that Argentinian Andean propolis are a valuable natural product with potential to improve human health. Six compounds (1-6) were isolated from propolis for the first time, while compounds 1 and 3-6 were reported for first time as constituents of L. nitida Cav.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Propolis Boosts Response to Vaccines

The Effects of Propolis on Antibody Production by Laying Hens
Poult Sci, 2011 Jun;90(6):1227-33

Propolis is a honeybee product showing several biological properties that enhance the immune response, depending on the concentration and intake period.

Because propolis possesses an immunomodulatory action on mammals, the objective of our study was to investigate the effects of propolis on the humoral immune response of laying hens by evaluating antibody production.

Laying hens (ISA Brown) were divided into 5 groups with 7 birds each. Group 1 was a nonimmunized control, whereas birds in group 2 were immunized intravenously with SRBC, and those in groups 3, 4, and 5 were treated intraperitoneally with propolis (2, 10, and 50 mg/kg, respectively) on 3 consecutive days and then inoculated intravenously with SRBC. Hematological and serological analyses were carried out on d 0, 3, and 38. Natural and specific antibody levels were determined by hemagglutination with rabbit red blood cells and SRBC, respectively.

Propolis-treated birds (50 mg/kg) showed a significant decline in heterophils and in the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio. After SRBC immunization, significant increases in levels of IgG were observed in groups 4 and 5. Furthermore, higher levels of natural antibodies were observed in propolis-treated laying hens.

The administration of propolis to laying hens increased the production of IgG specific to SRBC and natural antibodies, and could be used to increase antigen-specific antibody responses to vaccines.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Malaysian Honey Boosts Sperm Count

Effect of Different Doses of Malaysian Honey on Reproductive Parameters in Adult Male Rats
Andrologia, 2011 May 19

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different doses of Malaysian honey on male reproductive parameters in adult rats.

Thirty-two healthy adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups (eight rats per group). Group 1 (control group) was given 0.5 ml of distilled water. Groups 2, 3 and 4 were given 0.2, 1.2 and 2.4 gkg(-1) body weight of honey respectively. The rats were treated orally by gavage once daily for 4 weeks. Honey did not significantly alter body and male reproductive organs weights. The rats in Group 3 which received honey at 1.2 gkg(-1) had significantly higher epididymal sperm count than those in Groups 1, 2 and 4. No significant differences were found for the percentage of abnormal sperm, elongated spermatid count, reproductive hormonal levels as well as the histology of the testis among the groups.

In conclusion, Malaysian honey at a dose of 1.2gkg(-1) daily significantly increased epididymal sperm count without affecting spermatid count and reproductive hormones. These findings might suggest that oral administration of honey at this dose for 4weeks may enhance spermiogenesis in adult rats.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Honey Boost Healing of Traumatic Lower Limb Wounds

Immunohistochemical Evaluation of p63, E-Cadherin, Collagen I and III Expression in Lower Limb Wound Healing Under Honey
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2011;2011:239864

Honey is recognized traditionally for its medicinal properties and also appreciated as a topical healing agent for infected and noninfected wounds.

This study evaluates impact of honey-based occlusive dressing on nonhealing (nonresponding to conventional antibiotics) traumatic lower limb wounds (n = 34) through clinicopathological and immunohistochemical (e.g., expression of p63, E-cadherin, and Collagen I and III) evaluations to enrich the scientific validation.

Clinical findings noted the nonadherence of honey dressing with remarkable chemical debridement and healing progression within 11-15 days of postintervention. Histopathologically, in comparison to preintervention biopsies, the postintervention tissues of wound peripheries demonstrated gradual normalization of epithelial and connective tissue features with significant changes in p63(+) epithelial cell population, reappearance of membranous E-cadherin, and optimum deposition of collagen I and III.

Thus, the present study for the first time reports the impact of honey on vital protein expressions in epithelial and connective tissues during repair of nonhealing lower limb wounds…


The honey with its diverse chemical constituents (organic and inorganic) provide therapeutic support to nonhealing lower limb wounds with minimum trauma during redressing and debridement as well as in healing without hyper-granulation and less scarring. Further, therapeutic potential has been demonstrated at molecular levels through immunohistochemical depiction of prime molecular expressions in wound biopsies. The gradual increase in cell population and membranous expression of E-cadherin pointed out the transformation of nonhealing wound into healing one and achievement of collagen I and III ratio towards normalcy in posttherapeutic periods indicated proper deposition of collagens in the regenerated skin during healing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Zealand Consortium to Boost Medicinal Honey Production

There’s Money in Manuka Honey, and Trial Aims to Greatly Increase It
sticKNZ, 4/19/2011

There’s plenty of research on why manuka honey’s so useful from a medical and human health point of view.

Equally we understand bees pretty well.

The missing part of the puzzle, ironically, particularly as it is a plant that’s indigenous to New Zealand is how to best grow the native.

But a newly formed consortium, the Manuka Research Partnership (NZ) Ltd., along with well-known honey marketer Comvita Ltd., aims to change that.

It has pooled together $850,000, and has obtained matched funding through MAF’s Primary Growth Partnership for a planned seven year trial to increase the reliability of supply and proportion of medical grade Manuka honey out of New Zealand.

Based on what might initially seem aspirational numbers, the consortium reckons it can produce 16 times the current quantity of manuka honey (and with it the Unique Manuka Factor = active ingredient methylglyoxal) to crack $1 billion a year in sales…

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Honey May Help Treat Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis

The Effect of Honey on Mast-Cell Degranulation: A Possible Role in Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis
Medical News Today, 5/18/2011

Mast cells, known for their role in allergies and anaphylaxis, have also been shown to mediate inflammation in the bladders of patients with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS).

Researchers from the United Kingdom explored the possibility that honey, known for its benefits in wound healing, cytokine interaction and anti-oxidant effects, could have an effect on mast-cell degranulation in patients with IC/PBS if used intravesically.

Authors measured spontaneous calcium ionophore A23187 and A23187-induced histamine release on cells from the LAD2 mast cell line, comparing the effects of a range of medicinal honeys to those of control preparations (including a clover nectar, sugar syrup and agents typically used to treat IC/PBS.

The honeys inhibited spontaneous and A23187-induced histamine release significantly better than the control preparations (ranging from 60 percent to 100 percent, compared to 40 percent inhibition with sugar syrup, 36 percent for clover nectar and a maximum inhibition of 24 percent with either drug at either dilution), suggesting that honey, delivered intravesically, may provide some level of success to patients suffering with IC/PBS.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Audio: Apitherapy, Rx for Health, Naturally from the Beehive

Turtle Shell Health, 3/30/2011

Host Joshua Margolis speaks with Frederique Keller of BeePharm Apitherapy. Science meets nature to create effective and sustainable health and beauty formulas naturally from the beehive. BeePharm products contain the highest quality organic and natural ingredients without chemical preservatives, phthalates or parabens. Frederique will inform our audience by explaining the practice and history of apitherapy, the medicinal use of raw honey, bee pollen, bee bread, royal jelly, bee venom and much more.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Structures Found in Brazilian Red Propolis

Brazilian Red Propolis: Unreported Substances, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
, Early View

BACKGROUND: Chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of a sample of red propolis from the state of Alagoas (northeast Brazil) were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography–diode array detection–electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities were also obtained.

RESULTS: The propolis sample contained low content of narigenin-8-C-hexoside, this being the first report of a C-glycoside in propolis. The main constituent found was characterized as 3,4,2′,3′-tetrahydroxychalcone. Other important constituents were the chalcone isoliquiritigenin, the isoflavans (3S)-vestitol, (3S)-7-O-methylvestitol, the pterocarpan medicarpin, the phenylpropenes trans-anethol, methyl eugenol, elimicin, methoxyeugenol and cis-asarone, and the triterpenic alcohols lupeol and α- and β- amyrins. The methanol extract exhibited high antioxidant activities by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and β-carotene/linoleic acid assay methods, and antimicrobial activity toward Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

CONCLUSION: Structures are suggested for new substances never before seen in any kind of propolis. This is the first report of 3,4,2′,3′-tetrahydroxychalcone and a flavone C-glycoside in a propolis sample.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Propolis Extract Functions as Growth Promoter, Hepatoprotective Agent, Immunostimulant

Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Propolis on Growth Performance and Plasma Biochemical Parameters of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Fish Physiol Biochem, 2011 May 11

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) on growth performance and plasma biochemical parameters of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Graded levels of EEP [0 (control), 1, 2, and 4 g kg(-1) diet] were fed to trout juveniles (mean weight 7.73 ± 0.17 g) for 10 weeks.

Dietary EEP supplementation regardless of inclusion level significantly improved the specific growth rate of fish. Similarly, supplemental EEP generally improved the feed efficiency ratio and protein efficiency ratio, but no significant differences were observed between the 1 g kg(-1) EEP group and the control group. In addition, dietary EEP supplementation generally increased the plasma superoxide dismutase, lysozyme, total antioxidant capacity, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase activities, but decreased the plasma malondialdehyde level. The plasma triglycerides level was significantly lower in the 1 or 4 g kg(-1) EEP group as compared with the control group.

Dietary EEP supplementation generally decreased the plasma aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase activities, but increased the hepatic aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase activities.

These results indicate the potential to use the EEP as a growth promoter, hepatoprotective agent, and immunostimulant for rainbow trout.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Uruguayan Propolis May Have Cardiovascular Benefit

Antioxidant Activity of Uruguayan Propolis: In vitro and Cellular Assays
J Agric Food Chem, 2011 May 13

The antioxidant capacity of propolis from the southern region of Uruguay was evaluated using in vitro as well as cellular assays. Free radical scavenging capacity was assessed by ORAC, obtaining values significantly higher than other natural products (8000 µmol trolox equivalents/g propolis).

ORAC values correlated well with total polyphenol content (determined by Folin-Ciocalteau method) and UV absorption. Total polyphenol content (150 mg gallic acid equivalents/g propolis) and flavonoids (45 mg quercetin equivalents/g propolis) were similar to values reported for southern Brazilian (group 3) and Argentinean propolis.

Flavonoid composition determined by RP-HPLC indicates a strong poplar-tree origin. Samples high in polyphenols efficiently inhibit low density lipoprotein lipoperoxidation and tyrosine nitration.

In addition, we found that Uruguayan propolis were able to induce the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and inhibit endothelial NADPH oxidase suggesting a potential cardiovascular benefit by increasing nitric oxide bioavailability in the endothelium.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Propolis Component Inhibits Breast Cancer Tumor Growth

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE), Derived from a Honeybee Product Propolis, Exhibits a Diversity of Anti-Tumor Effects in Pre-Clinical Models of Human Breast Cancer
Cancer Letters, Article in Press

Breast cancer (BC) patients use alternative and natural remedies more than patients with other malignancies. Specifically, 63–83% use at least one type of alternative medicine and 25–63% use herbals and vitamins.

Propolis is a naturopathic honeybee product, and CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester), is a major medicinal component of propolis. CAPE, in a concentration dependent fashion, inhibits MCF-7 (hormone receptor positive, HR+) and MDA-231 (a model of triple negative BC (TNBC) tumor growth, both in vitro and in vivo without much effect on normal mammary cells and strongly influences gene and protein expression.

It induces cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and reduces expression of growth and transcription factors, including NF-κB. Notably, CAPE down-regulates mdr-1 gene, considered responsible for the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Further, CAPE dose-dependently suppresses VEGF formation by MDA-231 cells and formation of capillary-like tubes by endothelial cells, implicating inhibitory effects on angiogenesis.

In conclusion, our results strongly suggest that CAPE inhibits MDA-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer growth via its apoptotic effects, and modulation of NF-κB, the cell cycle, and angiogenesis.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Biological Activity of Honey is Related to Floral Origin

Phenolic Content and Antioxidant and Antiacetylcholinesterase Properties of Honeys from Different Floral OriginsJ Med Food, 2011 May 9

Twenty-three honey samples of Apis mellifera L. forged on plants from northeastern Brazil were analyzed to determine total phenolic content, flavonoid content, antioxidant activity, and antiacetylcholinesterase activity.

The total phenol content was determined by using the Folin-Ciocalteu method, and the flavonoid content was analyzed using by the aluminum chloride method. The antioxidant activity was evaluated using the diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl-scavenging test.

Honey samples from Lippia sidoides Cham. (mean [±standard deviation] 50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)], 4.20±1.07 mg/mL) and Myracrodruon urundeuva Fr. All. (IC(50), 28.27±1.41 mg/mL) showed better antioxidant activity and presented higher total phenol values (108.50±3.52 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g for L. sidoides and 68.55±1.01 mg gallic acid equivalents/100 g for M. urundeuva).

Several honey samples had relevant results on antiacetylcholinesterase assay.

The biological activity of honeys is related to their floral origin, and medicinal plants constitute a useful resource for the generation of functional foods.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Zealand Invests in Medicinal Honey

Honey in the Money
Taranaki Daily News, 5/12/2011
A Taranaki entrepreneur's dream to develop manuka honey into a billion-dollar industry has attracted government funding of $850,000.

The Government has announced the funding over seven years as part of a $1.7 million partnership with Manuka Research Partnership (NZ) Ltd and Te Puke healthcare company Comvita.

Neil Walker, of Hawera, is managing director of Manuka Research Partnership, a consortium that consists of Nukuhau Carbon Ltd, owned by Mr Walker, Taihape apiarist Don Tweeddale, who owns more than 17,000 beehives, and Wairarapa sheep and beef farmer Dan Riddiford.

Manuka Research Partnership and Comvita want to find out what affects yields and activity levels in manuka honey - commercially described as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) - and to increase the reliability of supply and the amount of medical-grade manuka honey.

New research in Britain suggests manuka honey could play a role in the battle against antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The findings show that some manuka honey has unique antibacterial properties, the exact origins of which are yet to be fully understood.

The New Zealand manuka honey industry is estimated to be worth $75 million, and the consortium hopes that its research will lead to a billion-dollar industry.

Mr Walker said growth in the market was constrained by the supply of economically accessible, high-activity manuka and a lack of consistency in yield and quality. The aim of the research was to double the number of beehives per hectare, the honey yield per hive, the proportion of medicinal manuka honey and the area of manuka economically accessible to beekeepers…

Brazilian Propolis-Derived Components Inhibit TNF-α-Mediated Downregulation of Adiponectin Expression Via Different Mechanisms in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

Biochim Biophys Acta, 2011 Apr 29
Background: Previous reports suggest that Brazilian propolis has multiple biological functions and may help to restore adiponectin expression and insulin sensitivity. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which these compounds inhibit the downregulation of adiponectin.

Methods: The effect of various Brazilian propolis-derived components on inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-mediated downregulation of adiponectin expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and molecular mechanism was investigated.

Results and Conclusions: Pretreatment with either artepillin C (C3) or its derivative (C4) significantly inhibited TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Interestingly, C3 strongly activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) transcriptional activity. Treatment of adipocytes with C3 resulted in the upregulation of adiponectin and fatty acid-binding protein 4 expression, but C4 did not significantly induce PPARγ transactivation. C4 did, however, inhibit the TNF-α-induced c-Jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling that is involved in adiponectin expression. Molecular docking studies based on hPPARγ with C3 and JNK1 with C4 clearly supported our experimental results. These data demonstrate that 1) both C3 and C4 significantly inhibit the TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin in adipocytes, 2) C3 functions as a PPARγ agonist, and its inhibition of the effect of TNF-α is due to this PPARγ transactivation, and 3) C4 is an effective inhibitor of JNK activation, thus inhibiting the TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin.

General Significance: Brazilian propolis-derived components (C3 and C4) can significantly inhibit TNF-α-mediated downregulation of adiponectin in adipocytes, although they do so via different mechanisms.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Propolis Can Help Treat Oral Cavity Infections

In vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Propolis, BioPure MTAD, Sodium Hypochlorite, and Chlorhexidine on Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans
Saudi Med J, 2011 May;32(5):479-83

Objectives: To evaluate the antimicrobial effect by measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration MIC and minimum bactericidal concentration MBC of propolis, BioPure MTAD, 5% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), and 2% chlorhexidine CHX on Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) and Candida albicans (C. albicans) in vitro.

Methods: This study was performed in the Faculty of Dentistry and Pharmacy at Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey from February to April 2010. Ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) was prepared from propolis collected from Kayseri, Turkey, and proper media for microorganisms were prepared using sterile broth medium to give final concentrations between 0.002-2.4 mg/ml for propolis, 0.000125-0.512 mg/ml for CHX, and 1:2-1:4096 dilutions for NaOCl and BioPure MTAD. Using the macrobroth dilution method, MIC, and MBC values of irrigants on the growth of E. faecalis and C. albicans were determined.

Results: Propolis and other irrigants were found to be effective on C. albicans and E. faecalis. Propolis and NaOCl were more effective in lower concentrations on C. albicans than on E. faecalis. In contrast, CHX and MTAD were more effective in lower concentrations on E. faecalis than on C. albicans.

Conclusions: Propolis showed antimicrobial activity against E. faecalis and C. albicans. It appears that propolis is an effective intracanal irrigant in eradicating E. faecalis and C. albicans.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bee Venom Used to Create Ultra-Sensitive Explosives Sensor

By Amar Toor, Engadget, 5/10/11

We knew that well-trained bees were capable of sniffing out dynamite and other explosives, but researchers at MIT have now come up with a slightly less militant way to use our winged friends as bomb detectors.

A team of chemical engineers at the school recently developed a new, ultra-sensitive sensor that's sharp enough to detect even one molecule of TNT. Their special ingredient? Bee venom.

Turns out, a bee's poison contains protein fragments called bombolitins, that react to explosive compounds…

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Propolis Component May Help Slow or Preventing Progression of Parkinson’s Disease

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Prevents 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced NeurodegenerationNeuroscience, Article in Press

Parkinson’s disease is associated with the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and decreased striatal dopamine levels. We now report that caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an active component of propolis, attenuated dopaminergic neurodegeneration and dopamine loss in the MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.

The neuroprotective effect of CAPE was associated with marked reductions in iNOS and caspase 1 expression. Additionally, CAPE inhibited MPP+-induced neurotoxicity in vitro and directly inhibited MPP+-induced release of cytochrome c and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria.

Thus, CAPE may have beneficial effects in slowing or preventing the progression of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Honey Bees Could be Used to Detect Tuberculosis

Honeybees Apis mellifera Can Detect the Scent of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (Edinb), 2011 May 3

The proboscis extension reflex in honeybees was evaluated for detection of tuberculosis. Restrained bees were tested with methyl phenylacetate, methyl p-anisate, and methyl nicotinate, previously identified from Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures, to determine honeybee capacity for signature volatile detection.

Methyl p-anisate and methyl phenylacetate were detectable over eight orders of magnitude, and honeybees showed proboscis extension response down to 0.1 pg loading of methyl p-anisate on filter paper.

Potential exists for trained honeybees in non-invasive diagnostic tests for TB.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Thai Propolis Has Anti-Cancer Properties

In vitro Antiproliferative Activity of Partially Purified Trigona laeviceps Propolis from Thailand on Human Cancer Cell Lines
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011, 11:37

Cancers are some of the leading causes of human deaths worldwide and their relative importance continues to increase. Since an increasing proportion of cancer patients are acquiring resistance to traditional chemotherapeutic agents, it is necessary to search for new compounds that provide suitable specific antiproliferative affects that can be developed as anticancer agents.

Propolis from the stingless bee, Trigona laeviceps, is one potential interesting source that is widely available and cultivatable (as bee hives) in Thailand.

Methods: Propolis (90 g) was initially extracted by 95% (v/v) ethanol and then solvent partitioned by sequential extractions of the crude ethanolic extract with 40% (v/v) MeOH, dichloromethane and hexane. After solvent removal by evaporation, each extract was solvated in DMSO and assayed for antiproliferative activity against five cancer (Chago, KATO-III, SW620, BT474 and Hep-G2) and two normal (HS27 fibroblast and CH-liver) cell lines using the MTT assay.

The cell viability (%) and IC50 values were calculated.

Results: The hexane extract provided the highest in vitro antiproliferative activity against the five tested cancer cell lines and the lowest cytotoxicity against the two normal cell lines. Further fractionation of the hexane fraction by quick column chromatography using eight solvents of increasing polarity for elution revealed the two fractions eluted with 30% and 100% (v/v) dichloromethane in hexane (30DCM and 100DCM, respectively) had a higher anti-proliferative activity.

Further fractionation by size exclusion chromatography lead to four fractions for each of 30DCM and 100DCM, with the highest antiproliferative activity on cancer but not normal cell lines being observed in fraction# 3 of 30DCM (IC50 value of 4.09 - 14.7 micrograms/ml).

Conclusions: T. laeviceps propolis was found to contain compound(s) with antiproliferative activity in vitro on cancer but not normal cell lines in tissue culture.

The more enriched propolis fractions typically revealed a higher antiproliferative activity (lower IC50 value). Overall, propolis from Thailand may have the potential to serve as a template for future anticancer-drug development.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Propolis Component Inhibits Growth of Breast Cancer Stem Cells

Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) Derived from prOpolis, a Honeybee Product, Inhibits Growth of Breast Cancer Stem Cells
Invest New Drugs, 2011 May 3

Cancer stem cells (CSC) are chemoresistant and implicated in tumor recurrence, metastasis and high patient mortality; thus substances impairing CSC activity, could be invaluable as novel cancer therapeutics.

We previously showed that CAPE (caffeic acid phenethyl ester), a component of propolis, a honeybee product, inhibits growth of MDA-MB-231 (MDA-231) cells, mdr gene expression, NF- B, EGFR, and VEGF. We hypothesized that CAPE also acts by interfering with CSC-mediated effects.

We isolated breast CSC (bCSC) from MDA-231 cells, a model of human triple-negative breast cancer, and mouse xenografts. bCSC grow as mammospheres (MMS) and when dissociated into single cells, form MMS again, a sign of self-renewal. bCSC exhibited the characteristic CD44(+)/CD24(-/low) phenotype and generated progenitors in the presence of serum, a CSC trait responsible for regenerating tumor mass. CAPE caused dose-dependent bCSC self-renewal inhibition and progenitor formation. Clonal growth on soft agar was inhibited dose-dependently, but apoptosis was not induced as determined by Annexin-V/PI assay. Instead, bCSC were noted to significantly progress from a quiescent cell cycle state in G0/G1 (82%), S phase (12%) to a cycling state with an increase in S phase (41%) and subsequent decrease in G0/G1 (54%). Treatment of bCSC with CAPE (4.5-days) decreased CD44 levels by 95%, while another cell population containing 10-100-fold lower CD44 content concurrently increased.

Results suggest that CAPE causes pronounced changes in bCSC characteristics manifested by inhibition of self renewal, progenitor formation, clonal growth in soft agar, and concurrent significant decrease in CD44 content, all signs of decreased malignancy potential.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Vitamin C Content of Thyme Honey ‘Significantly Higher’

Vitamin C and Sugar Levels as Simple Markers for Discriminating Spanish Honey Sources
J Food Sci, 2011 Apr;76(3):C356-61

In this work, 7 Spanish honeys with different botanical origins were studied. The honey origins were rosemary, chestnut, lavender, echium, thyme, multifloral, and honeydew. The chemical compounds determined were ascorbic acid (vitamin C), hydroxymethylfurfural, and major sugar contents (glucose and fructose). The physicochemical parameters, pH, conductivity, moisture, free acidity, and color, were also measured.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant in food, and the possibility to use it as discriminate parameter among different honeys was studied. The determination of vitamin C in honey samples was carried out by 2 different methods, volumetric and chromatographic comparing the results by both statistically.

Vitamin C content was higher in thyme honeys than in the other types; however a wide dispersion in the values was found. Through a linear discriminant analysis (LDA), conductivity, glucose, fructose, and vitamin C content were the most important discriminant parameters.

Practical Application: Vitamin C content in different honey sources has been determined by a simple and rapid chromatographic method (less than 3 min) in honeys from 6 botanical origins. The results together with glucose and fructose content and some physicochemical parameters have been studied in order to discriminate the botanical origin of honeys and in the future certified their quality. A statistical LDA was applied to the data, and differentiation of honey sources was possible with very good agreement.

The vitamin C content found in thymus honeys was significantly higher than in other types. This fact makes vitamin C a special marker for thymus honeys that have a higher antioxidant effect than the others giving it special properties. The identification of honey sources is essential for beekeepers in order to certify honeys for consumers.

Friday, May 06, 2011

In Its Raw Form, Honey Can Treat Ulcers, Pollen Allergies, Wounds

By Danielle Haynes, The Tonawanda News, 5/3/2011

Honey has long been heralded as a go-to natural remedy for a sore throat. Brew a cup of tea, add a bit of lemon and some honey and you’re good to go. While it won’t necessarily cure the common cold or flu, it’s helpful in relieving that one symptom.

Scratchy throats aside, certain honeys also have antibacterial and antifungal properties in addition to helping alleviate some allergies and dry skin. Be aware though, not just any honey will do the trick ... there are numerous types of honey out there and each one has different properties depending on where it’s from.

“People tend to think honey is all the same thing but it isn’t,” said Geri Hens, a professional beekeeper who runs Hens Honey Bee Farm in North Tonawanda. “Honey depends on the particular vegetation the bees are foraging on. There are as many different honeys out there as there are bottle of wines and it (varies depending) on how that honey is harvested and processed.”

Manuka honey, for instance, is well known for its superior treatment of wound infections due to the uniquely high antibacterial properties of the manuka bush, which can only be found in New Zealand. Bees that harvest the nectar from this particular bush then pass those antibacterial properties on to the honey they produce.

Catherine Stack, doctor of naturopathy and certified nurse midwife in Niagara Falls, says that manuka honey can be a very effective alternative to traditional antibiotics, which come with side effects like yeast infections and digestive issues. Additionally, antibiotics become less effective over time the more individuals use them.

“People are becoming very resistent to antibiotics because we take them too much,” Stack said. “Manuka honey releases off low levels of hydrogen peroxide, which have very anti-infective properties on wounds.”

Stack says manuka honey is also helpful in treating helicobacter pylori — commonly refered to as H. pylori — an ulcer-causing bacteria in the stomach that is often treated with long-term antibiotics.

“That’s pretty exciting that honey can cure what people are going on massive antibiotics for,” Stack said.

And if you’re want to ditch the allergy medicines, look for honeys made a little closer to home.

Hens, who is the only producer of USDA raw organic honey in N.Y., says eating a daily dose of honey that is harvested with 2 to 3 miles of where you live is an excellent way to fend off sneezing and watery eyes associated with pollen allergies.

“If you had a pollen allergy, you’d want to consume honey that’s got the same vegetation pollen in it (that you’re allergic to) ... what you’re doing is desensitizing your immune system to it and releasing the antihistamine,” Hens said.

The important thing to remember, Hens said, is that once honey is pasturized (heated higher than about 105 degrees) or filtered, it is no longer beneficial because the pollen granules have been removed. Basically the more unadulterated and fresher, the better…

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Taiwanese Green Propolis Extract Propolin G Shows Anticancer Activity

NBM-HD-3, a Novel Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor with Anticancer Activity Through Modulation of PTEN and AKT in Brain Cancer Cells
J Ethnopharmacol, 2011 Apr 20

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Taiwanese green propolis (TGP) extract contains a variety of chemical components and has proven to have broad-spectrum biological activities, including anticancer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities. Propolin G, an active anticancer component of TGP, was isolated and characterized in this study.

AIM OF THE STUDY: Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) have been shown to be effective anticancer agents. The aim of this study was to develop a novel HDACi and investigate its anticancer mechanism.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: NBM-HD-3, a novel HDACi, was derived from propolin G. Two brain cancer cell lines (c6 and DBTRG-05MG) were used in the anti-proliferation assay. NBM-HD-3 treated cells were analyzed by flow cytometry in the cell cycle assay. The gene expression of NBM-HD-3 treated cells was determined by real-time quantitative PCR. HDAC enzyme assay, confocal microscopy and Western blot assay were used to validate NMB-HD-3 as HDACi. Western blot assay was used for analyzing cell cycle modulation by PTEN and AKT.

RESULTS: NBM-HD-3 was found to have potent anti-proliferative activity in brain cancer cells (rat C6 glioma and human DBTRG-05MG glioblastoma). Western blot analysis and HDAC enzyme assay indicated that NBM-HD-3 was an HDAC inhibitor. The Western blot data exhibited increased levels of p21, Ac-histone 3, Ac-histone 4, and Ac-tubulin after brain cancer cells being treated with NBM-HD-3. NBM-HD-3 also affected the cell cycle regulators such as p21 and cyclin B1. In the study for its anticancer mechanism, NBM-HD-3 was found to increase PTEN and AKT protein levels significantly, while decreasing p-PTEN and p-AKT levels markedly.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the novel compound, NBM-HD-3, is a potent HDAC inhibitor. It produces anticancer activity through modulation of PTEN and AKT in brain cancer cells.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Phenolic Compounds Boost Antioxidant Activity in Malaysian Tualang Honey

Tualang Honey has Higher Phenolic Content and Greater Radical Scavenging Activity Compared with Other Honey Sources
Nutr Res, 2011, Apr;31(4):322-5

Many chronic diseases are associated with increased oxidative stress caused by an imbalance between free-radical production and the antioxidant level. Antioxidants, which are abundant in natural honey, are free-radical scavengers that either reduce the formation of or neutralize free radicals. The composition and source of honey greatly dictates its biochemical properties.

We performed a comparative analysis of the total phenolic content and antioxidant potential of common commercially available honeys along with Malaysian tualang honey.

In vitro biochemical analysis of the phenolic content by the Folin-Ciocalteau method revealed a significantly elevated phenolic content (83.96 ± 4.53 mg gallic acid equivalents per 100 g) in tualang honey. In addition, the antioxidant capacity (53.06 ± 0.41 mg ascorbic acid equivalents per gram) of tualang honey was greater, as assessed by the phosphomolybdenum method, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl assay, and ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay. Peroxynitrite and superoxide radical scavenging activity was determined by spectrophotometric analysis in different honey types.

Our data suggest that the elevated free-radical scavenging and antioxidant activity observed in tualang honey is due to the increased level of phenolic compounds.

In addition to its antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties, our study highlights the favorable antioxidant properties of tualang honey, which may be important to human nutrition and health.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Royal Jelly May Help Treat Arthritis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's

Royal Jelly Benefits Humans as Well as Bees
By Shona Botes, NaturalNews, 4/29/2011

Many people are aware of the health benefits of honey, but few are aware of the benefits that Royal Jelly has to offer. This is the substance that is produced by worker bees to feed the young bee larvae and the Queen bee in the hive. This substance offers many benefits to people, such as lowering cholesterol levels, wound healing properties and even anti-cancer properties.

Royal Jelly has anti-inflammatory properties. This applies when it is applied topically or ingested internally, making it an excellent supplement for those suffering from arthritis. It has been shown to stimulate the growth of brain stem cells, thereby making it an effective tool in preventing both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Research done in both Japan and Croatia show that Royal Jelly may have significant anti-cancer properties. In one study, mice were injected with cancer cells. When they were then injected with Royal Jelly, it drastically reduced the spread of the cancer cells.

It is believed that Royal Jelly is able to improve the quality of a woman`s eggs, thereby aiding fertility issues and promoting overall health of the reproductive organs. Many women report that Royal Jelly is able to help reduce the effects and symptoms of PMS because of the fact that it is able to balance and regulate hormone levels in the body.

This nutrient is also able to assist those suffering from insomnia and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatism. It is able to boost sexual libido and even help regenerate bone growth. It is able to boost the immune system, making it effective in fighting against infections…

Monday, May 02, 2011

Paris Hospital Conducts Trial of Bee Venom Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

Bee Venom for the Treatment of Parkinson Disease (MIREILLE)

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Sponsor: Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Information provided by: Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01341431

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of repeated (monthly) injections of bee venom on motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease over a period of one year, also the potential effects of this treatment on disease progression compared to placebo (saline injections)…

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Propolis May Help Prevent Damage to Kidneys

Propolis Attenuates Cobalt Induced-Nephrotoxicity in Adult Rats and Their Progeny
Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology, Article in Press

The aim of this study was to evaluate the biochemical changes in cobalt-exposed rats and to investigate the potential role of Tunisian propolis against the cobalt-induced renal damages.

Twenty-four pregnant Wistar rats were divided into four groups and were treated as follows: group 1 (control) received distilled water; group 2 received 350 ppm of CoCl2 in drinking water; group 3 received 350 ppm CoCl2 in drinking water and a propolis-supplemented diet (1 g/100 g of diet); group 4 received a propolis-supplemented diet (1 g/100 g of diet) without cobalt. In the cobalt group, a significant decrease in body, absolute and relative weights was noted when compared to controls.

The administration of cobalt to pregnant rats from the 14th day of pregnancy until day 14 after delivery resulted in an increased level of renal malondialdehyde, a decreased renal content of glutathione and antioxidant enzyme activities such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in lactating rats and their pups.

A statistically significant increase in plasma urea and creatinine serum levels was seen in treated female rats and their pups. Histopathologically, the cobalt-administration induced degenerative changes in the kidney of lactating rats and their pups.

When compared with cobalt-treated rats, those receiving the propolis supplementation (along with cobalt-treatment) had lower malondialdehyde levels, higher antioxidant activities and the cobalt-related histopathological changes in the kidneys were at lower severity.

Our results suggested that the propolis might be a potential candidate agent against cobalt-induced nephrotoxicity in adult and juvenile rats when administered to female rats during the late pregnancy and the early postnatal period.